When you begin to think of the cities that make up Nevada, Las Vegas and Reno are usually the two that immediately come to mind. By population, Henderson is actually the second largest city in Nevada ahead of Reno. It should be noted that Henderson is basically the suburbs outside of Las Vegas but still something surprising. Gambling is a big part of the state which means that a degree in criminal justice could potentially land you working more white-collar crimes.
It was just recently announced that Caesars Entertainment Corp would be paying $20 million in penalties related to anti-money laundering lapses. source What was interesting is that one of the investigating bodies was the US Treasury Department has Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (also known as FinCEN). It goes to show that if you earn a degree in criminal justice, sheriff and police jobs aren hat the only options available as many federal options can be there too. Aside from current affairs, you should also know what the layout of Nevada looks like from an educational level standpoint. We pulled US census data to help show that:
- 2014 Population Estimate: 2.839 million
- Persons under the age of 18: 23.7 percent
- Persons over the age of 25 with a high school degree: 84.6 percent
- Persons over the age of 25 with a bachelor degree: 22.4 percent
Those same statistics put the national average at 28.8 percent for persons over the age of 25 with a bachelor degree so you can see that Nevada is noticeably lower than the rest of the nation. While this shouldn hat be the only guiding force, potentially having a bachelor degree in criminal justice could help make you stand out in the job market.
Degree Requirements and Other Insights
While it is important to understand what is happening at the state level from a current events and general education level, you should also familiarize yourself with the requirements around Nevada criminal justice degrees. We looked at the University of Nevada, Reno criminal justice undergraduate offerings and saw that they offered two different tracks for a BA in Criminal Justice. According to their site, they offer a criminal justice general major as well as a Law and Justice Specialization track. The Law and Justice Specialization track focuses around criminal theory, philosophy, and writing which are intricate aspects to the criminal justice field. The Criminal Justice major is more broadly focused around the different parts of the criminal justice system while reviewing criminology theory.
While this is a specific example of the University of Nevada, Reno criminal justice programs, you can start to see that many universities will offer varying degree levels as well as varying focuses within each one. You should also consider the course and hour requirements around each kind of degree (Associate, Bachelor has, and Master has) as well as the content of the courses you hare required to take. We looked at Western Nevada College has Associate of Applied Science Criminal Justice requirements and saw that they have classes like:
- Introduction to Corrections: This course will look at correctional facilities (large part of those being prisons) and understand the history of them as well as the future. The course will also explore the symbiotic relationships correctional facilities have with other parts of the criminal justice system.
- Criminal Evidence: A course that go through the procedures that surround arrest, search, and seizure. This will likely include understanding past rulings to understand the reasoning behind that procedure.
Make sure to do the research on transfer credits if you think that could potentially be a possibility for you in the future. Depending on different criminal justice accreditations and institutional requirements, you will want any hours to work with a transfer if needed.
Nevada Criminal Justice Organizations
It is important to understand that even diving into the courses and their descriptions might not give you enough of a picture. We wanted to pull together a list of Nevada criminal justice organizations that would allow you to try and reach out to them. We encourage future students considering a criminal justice degree to speak with those that have gone down that educational and career path to better understand what might be required of them.
- Nevada State Law Enforcement Officers ha Association
- Nevada Fraternal Order of Police
- Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers
- American Correctional Health Services Association – California & Nevada Chapter
Be sure to find actual names of individuals to contact as sending out a general request through their websites might not receive a ton of response. By making connections with those that have gone through the academic path you’re considering, they could potentially give you an idea of what the academic workload of the degree or certification might be.
Nevada Criminal Justice Careers
Nevada is a unique state with lot has of things happening within the criminal justice system. Much like the rest of the United States, Nevada is seeing changes occur and different reforms throughout the different facets of the criminal justice system. Here are just a few current events happening that you should be aware of when considering a criminal justice job in Nevada:
- Nearly of voters in Nevada believe the criminal justice system is unjust and too costly: With all of the criminal justice reform talks occurring and the recent election cycle, Nevada voters were polled and a majority of those voters felt this way. Does that mean any immediate impact to the criminal justice career you hare considering now? Maybe not. But it should be noted that a lot of the time voters will try to elect officials that resonate with their same feelings and thoughts so these kinds of statistics should be noticed.
- A recent study that was discussed at an annual gathering of forensic scientists in Las Vegas, Nevada claimed interesting findings: Members of the American Academy of Forensic Scientists met in Las Vegas for their annual meeting and discussed a particular study around the conclusions forensic investigators came to based on the actual evidence. The study claimed that 90 percent of the cases reviewed showed the forensic investigator made errors in their court testimonies based off of the evidence gathered.
We only selected a few articles of events currently happening in the state of Nevada related to criminal justice but hopefully this leads you to investigate even further around the specific career you hare considering.
Criminal Justice Agency Breakdown in Nevada
You now have some insights around the current happenings within Nevada surrounding criminal justice but you should also understand the layout of the various criminal justice agencies. We have pulled that data utilizing the Nevada criminal justice Wikipedia page:
- 11 state agencies
- 19 county agencies
- 6 educational agencies
- 1 joint agency
- 20 city agencies
- 11 township agencies
- 4 tribal agencies
When looking at the volume of those agencies, county and city make up a majority of the Nevada agencies. However, some agencies might be much more sizable in the amount of employees they have. You may see this ring true with state agencies (i.e. Nevada HIghway Patrol, Nevada Gaming Control Board, etc.).
Nevada Criminal Justice Job Outlook
So you have an idea of what was happening around criminal justice within Nevada and the agency breakdown too but what about your expectations for salary? We have pulled that information for you as well. ONET provides Nevada specific data for certain careers so we have used Police Patrol Officers as our example profession. That data says the Nevada median salary is $68,700 which was higher than the national average of $56,800 which can sound promising to many that are considering a career in this profession. You should also look at variable expenses around living and cost of goods though before coming to any final conclusions. The growth that is expected in that career is also a very important factor when considering a career and that same data expects Nevada to see a 5 percent increase from 2012 to 2022 in available job openings. That number puts Nevada right in line with the median growth average of the US according to those same ONET statistics.
We should remind you again that the ONET data we pulled as an example was for police officers and might not be representative of the overall criminal justice career outlook. We always encourage you to find information and data pertaining more directly to your specific desired career. You should now be much more aware of the current state of criminal justice in the state of Nevada with that breakdown!